SAN DIEGO, Dec. 8, 2009 – Heavy rain and high winds kept San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) crews busy throughout last night and they continue to make repairs to the electrical system and restore service to customers during the first major winter storm of the season in San Diego County.
The storm, which hit the county Sunday night, knocked out power to a total of 92,000 SDG&E customers in the first 24 hours. At the height of the storm, as many as 44,000 customers were affected by outages scattered around the service area. As of 11:30 a.m., about 1,772 remained without power.
“Our crews have been working round-the-clock to restore power as safely and quickly as possible,” said David L. Geier, vice president of electric transmission and distribution for SDG&E. Wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour along the coast and even stronger gusts in the mountains blew tree branches and other debris into our lines causing outages. I’d like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we continue with our restoration efforts today.”
This morning, SDG&E is calling individual customers who have been without power since last night to update them on the status of repairs and when they can expect their electricity service to be restored.
The areas hardest hit by the storm include communities in the center city area and east county. Also, in Borrego Springs, the winds damaged three utility poles, which have to be replaced and the wire restrung.
“With another storm on the way later this week, we’re gearing up for the next wave of potential system problems,” said Geier.
Outage restoration times will be updated throughout the day on SDG&E’s Web site, http://sdge.com/outages/ , which customers can connect to via mobile devices, if computers or phones are down. Also available are SDG&E outage updates on Twitter, @SDGE.
Additionally, SDG&E is offering the following storm safety tips:
• Be sure not to touch any downed lines, as the lines may still be energized and dangerous.
• Always assume that power lines are energized.
• Freeing someone from energized power lines or equipment should be attempted only by a qualified SDG&E employee or a trained rescuer such as a firefighter.
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 840,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles. Exceptional customer service is a priority of SDG&E as it seeks to enhance the region’s quality of life. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.